A new networking web site for engineers, claimed as the world's first, will launch March 9 at the start of the U.K.'s National Science and Engineering Week. Aiming to enlist 40,000 participants, www.I-spark.org will be an engineering version of MySpace, says spokesman Justin Hopkins. U.K.-based, the site will nevertheless attract international interest, though it will operate only in the English language, he adds.

With an estimated launch investment of around $200,000 in cash and effort, the nonprofit site will be free of advertising. The U.K's not-for-profit Engineering Technology Board will maintain the site, which is backed also by Paris-based Altran Technologies S.A. and The Guardian newspaper, London.